Sunday, December 26, 2010

On me, my personality or the lack thereof and other weighty matters

Dear Reader

I hope you are upto reading a long, rambling, introspective and mostly pointless post because today, I have decided to look into my personality and write about it. And if you choose this moment to shuffle off to someone else's blog, I shall say to myself "Drat! Lost another reader. But sterling sense of judgment, I must say! He or she will definitely be Someone in the years to come, if he or she isn't already". But I digress. Coming back to the res, I told the missus of my intention.

'Don't be silly, Naren' was the missus' reaction.

'Silly? What's silly about this?'

'No offense, sweetheart, you are adorable and I love you, but you don't exactly have a personality'

And so it is. I've never had a personality as long as I can remember. I've always envied the strong, purposeful types, the people who could open an oyster at twenty paces with their gaze, to paraphrase PGWodehouse, the people who could get work done in government offices without shelling out a rupee, the people whose wives would be in a tizzy because they would be returning home any moment and needed a freshly brewed mug of coffee at the exact temperature, not too hot, not too cold, notwithstanding the fact that they, the wives, had just returned from work themselves, the kind.. oh, you get the idea.

And, as the missus seems to imply, people lacking personality shouldn't be writing autobiographies. They should be writing, I don't know, draft leave and license agreements or the vice-president's speech to a delegation of junior tourism development officials or whatever. Definitely not autobiographies.

How did I get this way, I often wonder. Was I born without a personality or was it snatched away from me? I've had one or two teachers fully capable of that, snatching away someones personality, I mean. My schooling wasn't so much schooling as a long series of various forms of corporal punishment. But no, it can't be that either because several of my classmates have evolved into personalities that would make the Hulk look like William Wordsworth.

No, the more I think of it the more it becomes apparent to me that I am one of those rare beings born without a mind of my own. For instance, whenever I hear an argument, I am instantly convinced of its correctness, till of course I hear the opposite side, whereupon I become instantly convinced of that argument's correctness. This makes me extremely likeable, at least temporarily, but tends to get me into an embarassing spot when both the opposite parties are present and debating.

Which is a frequent occurrence in the debates between missus and younger son. The elder son is a self-actualized soul (like myself) who usually avoids vulgar debate by the simple stratagem of agreeing with his mother.

The younger one usually argues the point, and with vigour. He lobbies with me for, say, keeping an airgun and pellets, 'for self-defence' he says. I agree. These are violent times we live in, he has just pointed out, and it is always a good idea to plug prospective robbers with a well aimed pellet.

Just as all this business is concluded, the lad is de-pelleted by the missus who adds, for good measure 'Do you have any sense, Naren? Those things are so dangerous! Don't you remember your cardiothoracic surgeon friend who told us about that pellet which lodged in that little girl's pericardium, and it was touch and go, saving her?'.

The missus remembers these things. All I can recollect is that the cardio whatever chap was sneakily eating french fries when HIS wife was not looking and surreptitiously spiking his virgin mojito with my vodka shots.

The upshot of all this is that I have to suffer the "you traitor" looks from the younger son for the rest of the afternoon.

I suppose you will now agree that people like me shouldn't be allowed to write their autobiographies. "What have I learned from this?" you must be asking yourself in exasperation, ruing the fifteen or so minutes you've spent reading this drivel. Well, you can console yourself with the fact that you now know that cardiowhatchamacallit chaps are as human as the rest of us, which you certainly wouldn't have known, if you hadn't read all of the above.

Cheers then, and have a good weekend

19 comments:

Yatin said...

what ho Naren saar ! I've been following your blog for some time now but haven't commented as I'd have liked to. I find your style to be subtly funny and your ability to show humour in daily life truly amazing. Do keep writing more often..Being funny is serious business ;)

prabhu.bharathi said...

oho, when you "argue" that you have no personality, I agree with you..but when readers of your blog compare your style to wodehouse's, I agree with them too.. thank god, it doesn't get me into trouble with my mister:)

I enjoy your blogs Mr.Shenoy

narendra shenoy said...

@yatin - Thanks! That's kind of you :)

@prabhu.bharathi - Thanks! I'm like those elvis impersonators, only I impersonate Wodehouse, which is easier because one doesn't have to wear those glittering suits :)

Amrith said...

Absolutely brilliant!
Your posts always seem to have the most wonderful flow to them. This one was, as ever, superb!
Please write more often!


Cheers

narendra shenoy said...

thanks, amrith!

Sid said...

Good post Naren. So often we all go through these thoughts!

When are you posting on a round up of 2010? Will wait for that.

Giribala said...

Some are born with great personalities, some achieve it, and some have it thrust upon them. Here I see all three :-)

Paavai said...

this is called diplomatic personality - why would you say lack of personality ? keep writing, I love reading your posts

Victor Guerra said...

I stumbled upon your blog for the first time. I like the way you write and your tone.

Hope you wont charge me for cross-referencing your blog on mine.

Happy new year!

The Lady said...

Now, now when you are spreading the cheer around, 'personality' is just a trivial matter. And on that note, you have a gem of a personality. Love your blog post.

Puppy Manohar said...

Naren - "Asa mi asami" - P L Deshpande starts on a similar note. Though I like yours better.

narendra shenoy said...

PuppyM- I must have listened to Asa mi Asami at least a dozen times. What a guy! Yes, I'm more or less on the same note

parthicle said...

ha! i agreed with your post every bit, until the missus read it.
"what drivel!" she said "his personality is just like yours"
and i agreed with her!

King Vishy said...

// I am one of those rare beings born without a mind of my own. For instance, whenever I hear an argument, I am instantly convinced of its correctness, till of course I hear the opposite side, whereupon I become instantly convinced of that argument's correctness. This makes me extremely likeable, at least temporarily, but tends to get me into an embarassing spot when both the opposite parties are present and debating

WOWW!! That's like reading about myself!!!

To my arms, matie!! :)

Pooja said...

Well said!

Having a personality - however you define it - is huge. Petite people, it turns out, don't inspire shock and awe in anyone. In the decades past, being taken seriously as the 'Amma' of the house in Chennai was an impossible ask...

Anonymous said...

Don't worry.. we're all in the same 'non personality' soup... :) i think people without 'a personality' are often funnier..as you have proven

Orwell Mathews said...

Rubbish, You should write an autobiography.
Many centuries ago, the so called Aristocrats influenced the people into discretion of personalities. People like us influenced by Holden Caulfield are never recognized.

Anonymous said...

<3

Padma Venkatraman said...

Naren! If you ever decide you want to publish on paper, you can be pretty certain of success,in my opinion - for what it's worth. We need an Indian Wodehouse ... or maybe I shouldn't say we need, because we already have one in you! I'm glad I took time off from my own writing to read your blog. And now, I hope you'll feel guilty enough to read my novel (CLIMBING THE STAIRS).
Padma Venkatraman